Spiritual Moments in Woodworking

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Forum topic by David Craig posted 11-24-2009 07:18 PM 1473 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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David Craig

2137 posts in 3350 days

11-24-2009 07:18 PM

I am going to get all philosophical with you guys and gals. I have moments in the shop where the time seems almost spiritual or a connecting to my own personal faith. I am not just talking about glory moments when I am at peace, I am also talking about moments when I am pulling splinters out of my fingers, or treating cuts from slipped chisels and knuckle bangs. Regardless of faith, creed, or philosophy, I believe there is a connection between the creative process and the condition of man/womankind. We are flawed, we make mistakes, our physical selves are imperfect. We wonder, sometimes, how anybody can love us and we suffer our own insecurities. And, when we create things, it is not a smooth process. Our creations bite us, cut us, send us crying sometimes when confronted with a difficult task. We error in the process, the wood is flawed, and yet those little imperfections, mistakes, etc. adds a certain beauty to the end result. We love them. Even when I have had to send a few to the burn pile, it would gnaw on me a little to use them as firewood. I have little pieces that will never be finished and are flawed beyond repair that sit in my basement for no other reason than the fact that I like them and they give me memories of a technique I figured out, or something I tried that was beyond my skill level but I became a better person for attempting it.

Have any of you had similar experiences or revelation? I would love to hear them.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

9 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4459 days

#1 posted 11-24-2009 08:13 PM

I get that sort of spiritual connection at times when I’m writing music, so I know exactly what you’re talking about.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Raspar's profile


246 posts in 3389 days

#2 posted 11-24-2009 08:27 PM

I know I love and appreciate the time in the shop. After working all week at a job I enjoy but do not love, coming home and working is a wonderful experience. Creating beautiful things with the gifts that God has given me makes me feel closer to Him and I thank Him for that, as well ask St Joseph a carpenter himself for help while I am working. Time stands still and I have had days that I get a early start and then realize the sun is setting(and I did not eat all day). As always this is what keeps me sane in a world gone crazy…

-- Have thy tools ready. God will find thee work.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4402 days

#3 posted 08-07-2010 12:15 PM

anyone who gets lost in the moment, so focused on the task or the beauty of the wood, is having a Spiritual moment – most just don’t know it (or will admit it) :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View ChefHDAN's profile


1231 posts in 3091 days

#4 posted 08-07-2010 04:09 PM

Wow what a thought. My very first tables were supposed to be bedside tables but I made them one at a time and they didn’t match, all I had was a corless drill & a circ saw. One is now a fish tank stand and the other is an end table in the living room. I made the tops from poplar edged HD particle board, and after almost 15 years the tops are pretty shot & I thought I’d replace it with a solid wood oak top. Picked up $20 of 6/4 & 4/4 “shorts” from my sawyer and made a new top…...... Top was so damned pretty I couldn’t bring myself to put it onto the old base so I knocked out some tapered legs, and an apron. I’m real glad I didn’t alter the old table, I’ve got alot more tools now but looking at where I started and comparing where I am now I know that the most expensive tools aren’t out in my shop, they’re the tools I gained through those splinters & knuckle bangs you spoke of.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View ChefHDAN's profile


1231 posts in 3091 days

#5 posted 08-07-2010 04:10 PM

Those ankles in the top of the shot are my son, that’s some priceless stuff when he comes out & plays with me!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View TulsaWoodSmith's profile


228 posts in 3598 days

#6 posted 08-07-2010 09:37 PM

What a nice forum topic. For 20 years, I owned a company that drilled holes in the ground so that our cars can go really fast. I came to the conclusion that I was basically in the business of making rich folks richer. I was not creating anything last lasts—NOTHING. I have no children, so what I create is my legacy I suppose. I sold the oil company and changed my life. My wife encouraged me to build things in my woodshop that will be used if not cherished for generations to come. To take a stack of beautiful wood that took years to grow in some distant jungle and transform it into something lovely and maybe even functional, makes me feel like I am finally leaving good tracks. My time in the shop is the best and most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done.


-- TulsaWoodSmith, Tulsa, OK The tools aren't the problem-It's the organic interface!

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3350 days

#7 posted 08-09-2010 12:01 AM

Thanks for the fresh posts to this old topic. Both great stories and worthy of sharing.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View pashley's profile


1044 posts in 3959 days

#8 posted 08-09-2010 12:17 AM

Sometimes I like to take wood nobody wants, or a furniture piece kicked to curb, and remake it into something useful and beautiful. I cut out the ugly, leave the beauty; sometimes the wood seems to not want to give it up very easily – I might get kickback on a saw, or an unseen nail might nick a planer blade, nevertheless, I coax into something better than it once was, and something I, the creator, truly appreciate.

It came to me one day years ago, that’s exactly what God is trying to do with all of us.

-- Have a blessed day!

View TJ65's profile


1381 posts in 3291 days

#9 posted 08-09-2010 05:53 AM

I totally believe there is some connection to something when I’m out in the workshop. Sometimes when things go right and then all of a sudden something comes to me to just put it down and rest. But when you are on a roll or nearning the end of a project you just want to finish it. But when the angel on my shoulder says put it down I usually listen because there is a reason. When I pick it back up the next day or when ever I realise that I would have been going on the wrong path or it would have been ruined if I continued. So Yes I believe I have a helper with me.
Yesterday was a classic- I really wanted to just get things done and completed for a craft show. SLOW DOWN, TAKE IT EASY, I didn’t listen – cut my finger, hammered my hand,got a splinter etc. Finally I was interuppted by a visitor and had to take a break. When I went back, things went so smoothly it seemed like a different day. So I should have listened in the first place !!!!!!!! :-)

-- Theresa,

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